Bee Roots for 2024-02-23

The table provides clues for the roots of words in today's NY Times Spelling Bee. You're responsible for prefixes, suffixes, tense changes, plurals, doubling consonants before suffixes, and alternate spellings of roots. An exception: since Sam won't allow S, when the root contains an S, the clue may be for a plural or suffixed form. "Mice" for example. If a clue isn't self-explanatory, try googling it. The TL;DR about the site comes after the table.

Past clues are available here

Today's puzzle
  • Letters: R/ADKLOW
  • Words: 35
  • Points: 128
  • Pangrams: 1

Table content

  • with first two letters of answer and length
answers coveredanswer's first two lettersanswer's lengthclue for root (answer may need prefix, suffix, tense change, alt spelling, ...)
1AR5Passion (Latin “to burn”)
1AR5What you shoot with a bow
1AW5Prize for merit, noun (Academy … for Best Picture)
1AW7Difficult or embarrassing (pause, position, questions), adj.; adverb form is a pangram
1DA4Absence of light
1DO6US currency
1DO5Literary term for a a state of great sorrow or distress (Spanish for pain), noun
1DO4Room or bldg. entrance
1DO6Mahimahi; or South American freshwater fish with a golden body and red fins
1DO4Insulting term for a socially inept person, noun
1DR4Make a sketch, or pull a gun from its holster
1DR5Speak in a slow, lazy way with prolonged vowels (Southern …)
1DR5Curious or unusual in a way that provokes amusement, adj.
1DR5Spit leaking out of your mouth, noun/verb
1LA4Pig fat for cooking
1LA4Small, ground-dwelling songbird (meadow…), or something done for fun (he entered the race on a …)
1LO4♂ version of “Lady” in nobility, or term for God; or, exclamation expressing surprise or worry
1OD4Bad smell (body …)
1OK4Green veg in gumbo
1OR4Spoken (… exam), or by mouth (… surgery), adjective
1RA5Nickname of Cpl. O’Reilly in M.A.S.H., or Doppler weather sensor acronym
1RO4Street ("Abbey …"), or “rocky …” ice cream flavor
1RO8Construction (labor) on a street or highway, compound (“… ahead”)
1RO4Lion “shout”
1RO4What you do to dice, verb; or Tootsie candy & small bread format, noun
1RO4Large crucifix above altar, anagram of bldg. entrance
1RO4Chess piece AKA castle
1WA8Australian marsupial, smaller than kangaroo, bigger than wallaby (arguably a portmanteau)
1WA4Actress Sela, or hospital dept. (burn, e.g.)
1WA7Aggressive regional commander with individual autonomy, compound
1WO8Carpentry (labor), or things made of tree flesh, compound
1WO4Sentence component, letter combo with meaning, term I usually use here in place of “term", concept with which Spelling Bee players are obsessed
1WO4What you do for wages or a salary, verb/noun
1WO8All the stuff you have to do in your job, compound pangram
1WO5The earth, together with all its countries, peoples, & natural features (… Bank or … Health Org. or … War N or … Champion)

About this site

This site provides clues for a day's New York Times Spelling Bee puzzle. It follows in Kevin Davis' footsteps. The original set of 4,500 clues came from him, and they still make up about three quarters of the current clue set.

The "Bee Roots" approach is to provide explicit clues for root words, not every word. As logophiles, we are pretty good at putting on prefixes and suffixes, changing tense, and forming plurals (including Latin plurals!). The clues cover root words, arranged alphabetically by root word, with a count of words in the puzzle that come from each root. For example, if a puzzle includes ROAM and ROAMING, there will be a clue for ROAM and a count of 2. The root may not appear in the puzzle at all; for example, the 2021-07-23 Bee included ICED, DEICE, and DEICED. For such a puzzle, the clue would be for ICE with a word count of 3.

The Bee Roots approach involves judgement sometimes. For example, if a puzzle includes LOVE, LOVED, and LOVELY, how many roots are needed to cover them? LOVE and LOVED share the root LOVE, certainly, but LOVELY is tricky. LOVE is part of its etymology, but by now, the word means "exquisitely beautiful," which is a lot farther from the meaning of LOVE than swithcing to past tense. I'm inclined to treat LOVE and LOVELY as separate roots. You may not agree, which is fine. Another thing we logophiles share is a LOVE of arguing about words on Twitter.

A few words can have one meaning as a suffixed form and another as a stand-alone word. EVENING, for example. In those cases I will use the meaning that I think is more common.

One last complication, until another one pops up: a few roots have multiple spellings, for example LOLLYGAG and LALLYGAG. Depending on the day's letters, and maybe even the editor's whims, one or both could be in the puzzle's answer list. With such roots, you could see a word count of 2, even if there are no applicable prefixes or suffixes.

I will do my best to keep this site up to date and helpful (I hope). Check it out, and tweet feedback to @donswartwout Tweet to @donswartwout